V. RENO, Nevada, USA
May 23 – 27, 1999
After the Washington reunion, Reno was once again selected to host the next TFI reunion. Chairperson for this reunion was Dien Ko, wife of Ko Tik Lok, former Vice-chairperson of the 1990 Reunion in Reno.
It was the first time a TFI reunion was headed by a woman. Dien was assisted by the former Chair of the first TFI Reunion in Reno, Thé Tjing Bie, who became Vice- Chairperson. Dien and Tjing Bie were supported by eight team members, each of whom filled a separate role, and nine area coordinators covering California, Eastern United States, Canada, Indonesia, The Netherlands, and elsewhere. In addition to her role as Chairperson, Dien was also in charge of recreation and walk-a-thons.
The program included a picnic in Idlewild Park on the Truckee River, a spacious oasis and playground near downtown Reno. Other items on the program were a lunch cruise on MS Dixie II, the largest cruising vessel on Lake Tahoe, an optional dinner show featuring “Night Beat”, as well as an optional tour to Squaw Valley, a world-class ski resort and site of the 1960 winter Olympics.
In her welcome letter Dien mused about the passage of time. For some, more than 50 years had passed since they attended university. Dien’s emphasis was on happy memories, friends and friendship, and keeping these reunions that had become a tradition, alive.
As in previous reunions, Tjing Bie’s wife Lanny, an accomplished accordion player, entertained the group with her lively music that made people get off their seats, sing and dance.
This time, 142 participants gathered at the Hilton Hotel – formerly known as Bally Hotel, where the 1990 Reno Reunion took place. Again, participants came from all over the world, attesting to the popularity of TFI reunions that enticed friends to spend time and money to travel thousands of miles to wherever a TFI reunion was held. Two participants came from Belgium, ten from Canada, three from Germany, ten from Indonesia, ten from the Netherlands, and the largest contingent came from the United States (107).
As the Reno reunion came to a close, suggestions were put forward to hold the next reunion in Canada but, instead of waiting three whole years, it was decided to have the next reunion within two years. TFI reunion participants clearly enjoyed these reunions and did not want to wait another three years. It seems that, as we grow older, time passes much more quickly, and the Latin phrase memento mori – remember our mortality – becomes more meaningful. Mortality is a reality neither of us can escape. We have lost many friends over the years and during TFI Reunions, it has become a tradition to always remember friends who have gone before us, as we bow our heads in respect for one minute of silence.